Consultation opens on water charging in Northern Ireland to raise money

A consultation has opened for the public to have their say on options for introducing water and sewerage charges.

This follows instructions from the Secretary of State, Chris Heaton-Harris, for Stormont departments to gauge public opinion around revenue raising measures to address Stormont overspend.

Paul Johnson, former chair of the Independent Fiscal Commission for Northern Ireland, has said water charges could bring in £350 million per year.

The consultation sets out and seeks views on how such charges could be introduced, relief schemes for the vulnerable, and potential billing arrangements.

Potential options include a flat rate, rate based on property value and a water meter.

The public can also give their views on other revenue raising options - including charging for septic tank maintenance and roads drainage - within their consultation response.

The consultation will remain open until March 2024 and is available on the department's website.

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